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IPCC and UNFCCC - Institutional framework

Year: 2005
From collection: Vital Climate Graphics
Author: Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
In 1988, UNEP and WMO jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as concern over changes in the climate became a political issue. The purpose of the IPCC was to assess the state of knowledge on the various aspects of climate change including science, environmental and socio-economic impacts and response strategies. The IPCC is recognized as the most authoritative scientific and technical voice on these issues, and its assessments had a profound influence on the negotiators of the United Nations Framework Convention, UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC is organized into three working groups plus a task force on national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. Each of these four bodies has two co-chairmen (one from a developed and one from a developing country) and a technical support unit. Working Group I assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change; Working Group II addresses the vulnerability of human and natural systems to changes in the climate, the negative and positive consequences of changes, and options for adapting to them; and Working Group III assesses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise mitigating changes, as well as economic issues.
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Sources of greenhouse gases
Global atmospheric concentration of CO2
Main greenhouse gases
Potential climate change impacts
Thinning of the Arctic sea-ice
Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years
IPCC structure
Radiative forcing - energy balances and the greenhouse effect